Section 445.013, Florida Statutes 2004
445.013 Challenge grants in support of welfare-to-work initiatives.--
(1) Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish a "Step-Up Challenge Grant Program" designed to maximize the use of federal welfare-to-work funds that are available to the state. The purpose of this challenge grant program is to ensure that needy Floridians obtain training and education to support retention of employment and achievement of self-sufficiency through career advancement.
(2) Workforce Florida, Inc., shall solicit the participation of not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, educational institutions, and units of government in this program. Eligible organizations include, but are not limited to:
(a) Public and private educational institutions, as well as their associations and scholarship funds;
(b) Faith-based organizations;
(c) Community development or community improvement organizations;
(d) College or university alumni organizations or fraternities or sororities;
(e) Community-based organizations dedicated to addressing the challenges of inner-city, rural, or minority youth;
(f) Chambers of commerce or similar business or civic organizations;
(g) Neighborhood groups or associations, including communities receiving a "Front Porch Florida" designation;
(h) Municipalities, counties, or other units of government;
(i) Private businesses; and
(j) Other organizations deemed appropriate by Workforce Florida, Inc.
(3) If an eligible organization pledges to sponsor an individual in postemployment education or training approved by Workforce Florida, Inc., by providing the match of nonfederal funds required under the federal welfare-to-work grant program, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall earmark welfare-to-work funds in support of the sponsored individual and the designated training or education project. Workforce Florida, Inc., and the eligible organization shall enter into an agreement governing the disbursement of funds which specifies the services to be provided for the benefit of the eligible participant. Individuals receiving training or education under this program must meet the eligibility criteria of the federal welfare-to-work grant program, and Workforce Florida, Inc., must disperse funds in compliance with regulations or other requirements of the federal welfare-to-work grant program.
(4) Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish guidelines governing the administration of the program provided under this section and shall establish criteria to be used in evaluating funding proposals. One of the evaluation criteria must be a determination that the education or training provided under the grant will enhance the ability of the individual to retain employment and achieve self-sufficiency through career advancement.
(5) Federal welfare-to-work funds appropriated by the Legislature which are not fully expended in support of this program may be used by Workforce Florida, Inc., in support of other activities authorized under the welfare-to-work grant.
History.--s. 15, ch. 2000-165.